Solar windfall more than offsets emissions from lifting oil ban: Solar group

The solar industry says tax credits included in a spending bill that passed Congress Friday would more than offset the carbon emissions of lifting the oil export ban also included in the measure.

Approximately "10 million metric tons ... will come from lifting the oil export ban," while use of solar energy through 2020 will more than offset those greenhouse gas emissions, Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industry Association, said on a call with reporters. Solar subsidies will reduce 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, while placing the U.S. "in first place as a global leader" in solar energy and emissions reduction.

Environmentalists have strongly opposed lifting of the 40-year-old oil export ban in recent days, given President Obama's commitment to a global climate change accord reached Saturday in Paris. Resch says the solar industry does not take a formal position on the export ban, but is pointing out the emissions offsets of the solar credits.